Tagged: digital repositories

Library as Agent of [Re]Contextualization: presentation available online

July 1st, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

I’ve uploaded the talk I gave last week at Digital Humanities 2009, “Library as Agent of [Re]Contextualization.” Its text is here [PDF], and the slides are available on SlideShare.

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DH09 Thursday, session 1: libraries!

June 25th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

The first paper was mine; naturally, I’m not going to blog it. But I’ll post a link to a PDF version of my talk here, and will Tweet it too. Stay tuned.


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DH09 Wednesday, session 1: managing information

June 24th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog, Preservation 1 comment

First up, Melissa Terras of University College London. “Digital Curiosities: Resource Creation Via Amateur Digitization”

Melissa has spent a lot of time studying images, and in most cases was studying images in/from institutions. But what about collections (of all sorts, not just images) created by people who aren’t affiliated with institutions? They’re actually quite interesting, and Melissa studied them using the following methods:


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DH09 Tuesday, session 2: Supporting the Digital Humanities: Putting the Jigsaw Together

June 23rd, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 1 comment

[OK, not putting information copied from slides in quotes: no time. Thank you, panelists, for concise wording in your slides! If you want specific attribution, let me know.]

The big questions to be addressed by the panelists, as Martin Wynne proposes in his introductory remarks:

1. What specific problems have you identified, and how are you seeking to address them?
2. What services, if any, will you provide?
3. How might you link with other related initiatives?
4. What are the further elements of the jigsaw puzzle which are needed to create a coordinated and more complete research infrastructure?

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BU STH materials make their way onto archive.org

June 19th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog, Open Access 0 comments

Here at the School of Theology Library, we’ve been digitizing our Missions collection—for now, just what’s out of copyright. Student assistants Christina (Mo) Geuther and Carolyn Frantz have been working tirelessly, and we’re starting to see results. Exciting! And more on the way.

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Elsevier gets sneaky

June 19th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

The large and influential academic publisher Elsevier seems to have quietly changed its publication agreement. From the sample agreement [PDF link]:

Assignment of publishing rights
I hereby assign to <Copyright owner> the copyright in the manuscript identified above (government authors not electing to transfer agree to assign a non-exclusive licence) and any supplemental tables, illustrations or other information submitted therewith that are intended for publication as part of or as a supplement to the manuscript (the “Article”) in all forms and media (whether now known or hereafter developed), throughout the world, in all languages, for the full term of copyright, effective when and if the article is accepted for publication. This transfer includes the right to provide the Article in electronic and online forms and systems. No revisions, additional terms or addenda to this Agreement can be accepted without our express written consent. Authors at institutions that place restrictions on copyright assignments, including those that do so due to policies about local institutional repositories, are encouraged to obtain a waiver from those institutions so that the author can accept our publishing agreement. (Emphasis mine.)

So, first they imply that institutions with institutional repositories restrict their faculty’s publishing opportunities by placing “restrictions on copyright assignments.” Not true: most institutions aim to educate their faculty about copyright and make sure that their researchers don’t sign away all rights in perpetuity without knowing exactly what they’re doing. It’s understandable that Elsevier wouldn’t like this, as they want exclusive copyright on work they didn’t perform (though, to be fair, are publishing).

Then Elsevier encourages authors to opt out of an enterprise that is proving to be a significant boon to academics (first and foremost providing them with visibility), implying that this is required for the authors to accept Elsevier’s apparently immutable publishing agreement. No contract is immutable before it is signed, but the language here does strongly suggest this, counting on most people just going along with it because they are unaware, or because they want to publish and don’t have time to pursue this with Elsevier.

It’s true that the very next paragraph, and its continuation later in the document, have different implications:

Retention of Rights for Scholarly Purposes (see Definitions below)
I understand that I retain or am hereby granted (without the need to obtain further permission) rights to use certain versions of the Article for certain scholarly purposes, as described and defined below (“Retained Rights”), and that no rights in patents, trademarks or other intellectual property rights are transferred to the journal.

The Retained Rights include the right to use the Pre-print or Accepted Authors Manuscript for Personal Use, Internal Institutional Use and for Scholarly Posting; and the Published Journal Article for Personal Use and Internal Institutional Use. [...]

[definition of scholarly posting] Voluntary posting by an author on open Web sites operated by the author or the author’s institution for scholarly purposes, or (in connection with Pre-prints) pre-print servers, provided there is no Commercial Purpose involved. Deposit in or posting to Special Repositories (such as PubMed Central) is permitted only under specific agreements between Elsevier and the repository and only consistent with Elsevier’s policies concerning such repositories. If the author wishes to refer to the journal in connection with such posting, the Appropriate Bibliographic Citation should be used.

Further confusing: a scholar may post pre-prints to the websites that fit the italicized definition above, which would seem to include institutional repositories. Except Elsevier mentions repositories twice, and both in a permission-denied context: the second one is the Special Repositories such as PubMed.

Seems like language designed to mislead and bully, to me. Elsevier, would you please clarify?

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Limited spaces still available at the DigCCurr Professional Institute at Chapel Hill

April 9th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

Got this through a list:

DigCCurr Professional Institute: Curation Practices for the Digital Object Lifecycle

June 21-26, 2009 & January 6-7, 2010 (One price for two sessions)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Visit the institute’s site for more information and to register.

The institute consists of one five-day session in June 2009 and a two-day follow-up session in January 2010. Each day of the June session will include lectures, discussion and a hands-on “lab” component. A course pack and a private, online discussion space will be provided to supplement learning and application of the material. An opening reception dinner on Sunday, break time treats and coffee, and a dinner on Thursday will also be included.

This institute is designed to foster skills, knowledge and community-building among professionals responsible for the curation of digital materials.

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An article, a CFP, and a useful site

April 7th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

The article, from the Public Library of Science, is this: “Clickstream Data Yields High-Resolution Maps of Science.” The authors collected “nearly 1 billion user interactions recorded by the scholarly web portals of some of the most significant publishers, aggregators and institutional consortia,” says the abstract. They proceeded to create maps that illustrate citations in the articles with which the users interacted. These maps “provide a detailed, contemporary view of scientific activity and correct the underrepresentation of the social sciences and humanities that is commonly found in citation data.” The most interesting illustration in this context is Figure 5—check out that big white and yellow cluster in the center. It’s worth the load time to view the larger image.

The CFP is for the next annual meeting of the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium. This year’s theme is text encoding in the era of mass digitization. The the first three suggested topics are conceptually larger than TEI, and are intriguing: In-depth encoding vs. mass digitization; Is text encoding sustainable?; Is text encoding scalable? People are bound to talk about crowdsourcing metadata, which I think is the only hope we have of scaling semantic encoding. (The quality control issues, which are the first concern that usually arises when people talk about collaborative knowledge work, are real. But there are ways to deal with them, and data that can be corrected may well be better than no data at all.)

The site I came across today is FairShare. It allows people to track how their online publications are used and/or remixed. Haven’t played with it yet, but it looks promising, particularly in the context of an institutional repository. Imagine a researcher depositing an article, pointing FairShare at it and seeing others respond to her work. Just the psychological boost from that is valuable in spurring future work.

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SPARC 2008 Videos

February 24th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

The videos from the SPARC 2008 Digital Repositories meeting have been posted:


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BU OA: reactions so far

February 19th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

Well! The news of BU’s adoption of an open access plan has spread far and wide. It’s been picked up by DigitalKoans, by the Associated Press, and by Inside Higher Ed among others. Peter Suber’s thoughtful response was one of the first, supplemented by further thoughts after the university published the document approved by the Faculty Council last September.

Institutional repository manager and librarian Dorothea Salo (University of Wisconsin) wrote an interesting post in which she characterizes BU’s initiative as something hybrid compared to what’s gone before. She writes:

It is not a mandate of any kind. It is not a typical rights-retention resolution, either; there is no author addendum attached. Instead, it is a fascinating middle-ground. It mentions gold as well as green OA. It mentions building a faculty publications database, not just an IR; this is important because like it or not, faculty publications databases have real-world uses for faculty and administrators that IRs simply don’t. It takes on tenure and promotion practices straightforwardly.

It is, in short, a start toward a university-wide open-access strategy. That’s fascinating, and to the best of my knowledge, completely novel. The breadth of the conversation is certainly a vast improvement over the library starting an IR all by itself that it then doesn’t promote or work to fill. It’s also an improvement over putting all the local open-access eggs in one basket, whether that basket is an IR or an author’s addendum or a gold-fee fund. Several open-access strategies are still in experimental stages… I think it makes an awful lot of sense to keep one’s implementation options open, focusing on policy and hearts-and-minds instead. [emphasis author's]

Salo’s comments seem to me partly descriptive, partly suggestive of where we might want to place emphasis as we work on making this thing a reality. Certainly worth discussing, as I’m sure we will.

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